Before I look forward to the new year, I give thanks for the previous 12 months — for health, for accomplishing things I didn't believe I could do. Then I move ahead.
The new year is fantastic for making resolutions, and I like to think positive, that it's going to be a great year. Just to help it along, below are some of the steps I take to make sure I've done all I can to make every year the best.
1. Start small
Whatever goal you have, even if you're working on a big dream, take it one step at a time. Building a business, for instance, isn't about having a nice office at first; for many years my garage was my office. Keep moving forward little by little so that you're successful. It's better to grow slowly than to close.
2. Renew and refresh
I wake up every day wanting to create something new or make something better. A major project I'm working on now is Larios on the Beach. This great Cuban restaurant serves the best mojitos in South Beach; it's been tremendously successful since Gloria and I started it more than 25 years ago. We're renovating it completely, from an updated menu to redesigned uniforms. We want to make it new, fresh, more beautiful, better in every way.
See also: Smart tips for staying healthy in 2014
3. Be flexible — except when you can't
Working toward a goal means having to accept changes along the way. That's how we get along with friends and coworkers and how we get around unexpected problems. But when it comes to commitments I've made to my family, flexible is off the table. My daughter's birthday comes once a year; Gloria and I are there to make it special.
4. Keep it to yourself
You can either do it or talk about it. Be sure that you work hard to accomplish whatever you've committed to. Be determined to finish — and when you've reached your goal, then you can talk all you want about what it took to get there.
5. Never miss a moment of happiness
If friends ask you out to dinner, go or stay home? I say go, every time. Forget that it's raining, forget that you're tired. Don't ignore an instant of happiness; that moment will never come back again.
6. Don't stop trying
One resolution is always on my list: I want to lose a few pounds. And yet for 40 years I've weighed the same. That's probably because about this, I'm flexible; the sad truth is if I'm going to have dessert it's play and pay!
Emilio Estefan is a music mogul, a restaurateur, a father, a husband and a philanthropist. As Life Reimagined ambassador for AARP, Emilio will share his expertise on a variety of subjects, including his passion for living, mentoring, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and much more.
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